From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Villa Roccabruna, the home of soprano Giuditta Pasta, muse of the nineteenth-century composer Vincenzo Bellini, has been transformed into the CastaDiva Resort, becoming the first hotel in nearly a century to open on Lake Como's shores. The 75-room property is in an enviable location right on the water and a short drive from the towns of Como and Bellagio. Guests arrive by boat, docking in a cave in the rocky foundation below the hotel. The secluded grounds are ringed with white-pebble paths; huge pine trees frame the view; and a brilliantly designed pool floats on the lake. The spa, too, is a centerpiece, a subterranean enclave with an indoor pool and huge treatment rooms carved into the rock. L'Orangerie's menu showcases local and seasonal ingredients in such dishes as a delicate pea soup with quail egg and local lake trout. While the staff are friendly and professional, the stiff Frau-like uniforms are a misstep. Some of the rooms' design elements might also be a bit over the top for purists (heavy silk curtains and mirrored closets with gold paint), and the new buildings that house additional guest rooms look a little architecturally jarring next to the original villa, but all in all CastaDiva captures the rarefied grandeur of another century. 2011 Hot List
Which room to book: Any in the main building, Villa Roccabruna, will give you the full eighteenth-century ambience.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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